There are a few setbacks to brunching at Minetta Tavern. Even if you have a reservation, they will leave you cooling your heels in the packed entryway before leading your party of three to a two-top by the bathroom. The waitstaff will then leave you at the table for way too long before taking your order. And the half-dozen Bloody Mary options all come a little too watered down. But if you can get past the flaky service and subpar brunch cocktails, you’ll be rewarded by some excellent hangover sopping food.
It’s always tempting to order the Black Label Burger, no matter the time of day or occasion, and fortunately it stays on the menu for the weekend midday meal. Along with the Minetta Burger and Tavern Steak. You’ll see most diners chowing down two-handed style.
The more breakfast-y dishes however, are absolutely worthy of your time also. Black Pudding Clafoutis features thick coins of sausage and chunks of barely softened apple suspended within the flan-like custard. Topped with a handful of herb salad, it’s an exercise in savory breakfast brilliance.
Potato latkes are the base for an eggs Benedict-style dish with smoked salmon and dill hollandaise; though the “latkes” tend to come out more like a mound of hash brown. Brioche French Toast is available for those who take their brunch on the sweet side.
Skip the pastry section of the menu. You can get much better canele at Dominique Ansel down the block — and for a lot less than Minetta’s $16 sticker price. Instead, splurge on an order of pork sausage with shucked oysters for the table. Though not as satisfying as Prune’s version, the dish teeters the line between humble and decadent in just the right way. Which sums up brunch in general. I mean, really, people, you could make eggs at home for a few bucks, or splurge and have someone else do the cracking.